Abandoned Carts: How to Follow up on Them to Increase Sales

Abandoned Carts: How to Follow up on Them to Increase Sales

Always be up to Date subscribe to updates - February 22, 2017

If you’re a business owner, and someone asks you: What’s your conversion rate? It is likely that you don’t know the answer to it! When you launch a business, your initial concern is largely focussed around if people are interested in buying your products. If that doesn’t take off, then conversion rate is a distant dream.

Only once you see some traction in your sales, that is when you decide to have a logo redesign, a design facelift & such things. You start worrying about conversion rate only when you want to reach to the next level of product sales & subscribers.

What is conversion rate?

Conversion rate refers to the percentage of people who take a particular action. It is applicable to almost all activities, but is largely talked about in terms of people purchasing your product. For example, I have a popup on my website to capture visitor email addresses. There, the conversion rate is how many people actually subscribed versus the number of impressions of the popup.

When it comes to purchasing on E-commerce sites, there are many reasons for a lower conversion rate such as slow speed of website, incorrect messaging, lack of clear call-to-action & so on.

Cart abandonment is also one of the major reasons. But many website owners are unaware about it or if they are aware, they do not act on it.

 

Image source: Baymard

Reasons for Cart abandonment

An abandoned cart is created when a customer adds items to the cart & then leaves the purchase. There are multiple reasons at different steps in the funnel which could cause the customer to leave the purchase. Sometimes, the customer would also leave simply because they reminded themselves they have to get their groceries before it turns dark or just because they don’t have the time right now. According to Baymard, the average online cart abandonment rate is 69.23%.

Apart from the reasons mentioned above, which by the way are reasons where the shop owner can hardly do anything, there are many other reasons which also cause the customer to abandon their cart. The top reasons are listed below:

  1. High Shipping Costs
  2. Not ready to purchase, just comparing prices
  3. High Product Price
  4. Want to save products for later
  5. No clear shipping information available
  6. No Guest checkout option
  7. Complex or Insecure Checkout form
  8. Website takes too long to load
  9. Extra taxes surprise customers
  10. Few payment options
  11. Slow Shipping
  12. Too many offers
  13. Website crash

 

Shopping Costs, ecommerce, sales, abandoned cart, conversion The above stats are based on a study by Invesp.

Reducing Cart Abandonment

There are solutions to tackle each of the problems mentioned above. The solutions mentioned below can reduce your cart abandonment rate & also help you recover some of the abandoned carts.

1. Checkout page not secure

This is actually applicable to your website, and not just checkout page. Your website starts making an impression on the customer right from the 1st page they land on. From there on, the impression either gets stronger or weaker depending on your website content & security practices.

The fact is that customers are uncomfortable about sharing their payment information on a checkout page. As per a recent study done by Baymard, 18% of users leave a purchase because they do not trust the merchant with their credit card information. That’s not a small number by any means.Your page has to be secured by practices like installing a SSL certificate, security seals and also it has to visually appear secure to your customer.

Your page has to be secured by practices like installing a SSL certificate, security seals and also it has to visually appear secure to your customer.

check out, ecommerce, cart Image from baymard.com

2. Customers are required to Create an Account before purchase

On many websites, merchants require you to create an account before you can proceed with placing an order. I know of some websites who don’t even let you view their products without giving an email address. Meh!

What happens here if the customer is not interested in creating an account with your website? If it is a new customer, the most likely outcome is that the customer will choose another alternative over yours. Simply because the customer is worried about their privacy as much as you are worried about your sales. You should always leave a window open for guest users to place an order. If they do need a product from you again, they will come back on your website if they are satisfied with the last purchase & service.

Abandoned cart, log in, register form, ecommerce,

3. Not following-up with abandoned cart users

Capturing abandoned carts & following-up with them can give a tremendous boost to your conversion rates. Based on your eCommerce platform, there are various tools that allow you to capture abandoned carts. Some of them are even free.

One such freemium plugin available for WooCommerce is Abandoned Cart Lite. WooCommerce is the go-to Ecommerce plugin that is available for WordPress. It’s hugely popular & has gained a lot of traction in the last 3 years due to its freemium model & easy-to-get-started advantage.

The Abandoned Cart Lite plugin captures abandoned carts & allows you to follow-up on customers with different email campaigns. It allows you to recover 30% of the abandoned carts without spending a dime!

You should find a relevant tool or extension available for your platform & implement it on your website. Remember, it’s always easy to convert a customer who has tried to purchase from you once instead of converting an unknown customer.

4. Losing user information when form submitted throws an error

This often happens to us. Out of a set of fields that are needed to proceed, you miss out on a field or fill out a field wrongly. Now it’s a good practice to validate your customer’s information & show them appropriate messages if the information is not as desired.

This can so easily go the opposite way if the user information in those fields is not retained after showing the error. You stand the chance of losing this purchase just because your developer wanted to save his 2-3 minutes of time. This is the result you get:

sales, ecommerce

Here’s how to create persuasive forms to ensure your customers don’t abandon their carts.

5. Requiring unnecessary information

Depending on your business, ask only for as much information as is necessary for you to process an order. If you are selling digital goods, it might not make sense for you to ask for a Shipping Address. If you are selling bakery items, it might make sense for you to ask your customer as to what time they want the product delivered.If you dish out form after form (as is the case in many surveys),

If you are selling digital goods, it might not make sense for you to ask for a Shipping Address. If you are selling bakery items, it might make sense for you to ask your customer as to what time they want the product delivered. If you dish out form after form (as is the case in many surveys),

If you dish out form after form (as is the case in many surveys), customer will either go away or only give you dummy information in order to speed up the purchase process. It makes more sense to only ask minimal information during purchase, and then probably ask them the details in their Edit Profile section.

6. Aggressive Upselling during checkout

During purchase, a buyer’s journey is self-driven. Upselling during checkout is the last thing you want to do!

The customer loses focus from the current purchase & either will get distracted by the upsell or will leave your website for the want of a smoother experience elsewhere.

You should pause your upselling & cross-selling during checkout. It’s even a good idea to completely hide your navigation menu.

7. Your website gives up on you

Having a website that functions without any interruptions seems like a very hard task, but it isn’t. This is what happens when people find it hard to purchase on your website:

ecommerce, sales

And the list goes on! Doesn’t matter if you are selling Pizzas or Software or Flowers, you L.O.O.S.E revenue that was at your doorstep!

Conclusion

Apart from these, there are some other reasons as well which contribute to cart abandonment like showing prices in a foreign currency, better pricing on other sites & so on.

Mitigating these can result in an overall higher conversion rate for your website. It also reduces your cart abandonment rate.

Cart abandonment is at a stage where we need to educate the business owner about it. If the business owner is unaware about it, then it’s our role, as service providers or consultants, to educate them about it & ask them to take appropriate actions.

Unless we do that, cart abandonment will continue to affect the conversion rate of a website. Check out this infographic on how to avoid cart abandonment

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  • 22 Feb, 2017
  • Posted by Vishal Kothari
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Vishal Kothari

Written by Vishal Kothari

Vishal is the Founder & CEO of Tyche Softwares, a leading WooCommerce plugins provider that has carved a niche for itself in the WordPress plugins space. Vishal has been building web solutions since 2001. He has worked on a wide range of platforms like C++, Flash, Symbian & Linux with core expertise in PHP. He is the author of a dozen plugins for WordPress & WooCommerce. Apart from steering his team through different situations, Vishal has a very sharp focus on Customer Service. He wants to ensure that every client has a delightful experience while interacting with his team.

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